Studies of Shestovytsia Barrows

Keywords: Shestovytsia burial ground, barrow, burial, inhumation, Ancient Rus time


Shestovitsa archaeological complex consists of the hill-fort, the upper town, the lower city and of the large mound necropolis, which D. Blifeld divided into six mound groups. Burial mounds have been investigated since 1920’s. More than 160 of them have already been excavated till nowadays.

In 2017, scientific workers of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine took a new detailed plan of the necropolis, where the investigated and remaining mounds were identified. In total, the remains of 20 embankments were counted in the third mound group. The third mound group of the Shestovitsa necropolis is situated in the Dibrova boundary 750 m to the west from the hill-fort Korovel, at a low elevation, which in ancient times was washed by a small stream of the old channel of the Desna River.

Two mound embankments in the northern part of the third mound group were excavated by Ukrainian-Polish archaeological expedition in 2018. Burial mounds were investigated together, their total area of the excavation covered 220 m2.

The remains of 12th century inlet burial, which was located in the upper part in the center of the embankment, were investigated in the first mound situated in the northern part of the excavation. The skeleton belonged to a teenager and preserved partially. No related equipment or traces of the grave pit were fixed. The burial of 10th century was not found. There was a mound ditch around the embankment. The diameter of the mound was 7.0 × 9.0 m. Fragments of 12th century ceramics were found in the western part of the embankment and partially in the upper layers of the ditch filling.

The mound no. 2 was situated to the south of the previous one. Before the beginning of the investigations it was 0.39 m high. The mound had an oval shape and was extended from west to east by 7.2 × 8.2 m. Man’s burial in a grave pit with the head oriented to the west, was found in it. The skeleton laid in anatomical order with legs bent at the knees. There was an iron knife near the right thigh bone of the buried, and an iron octagonal tip of the knobstick under his right knee. The diameter of the mound was 9.5 × 10 m.

Thus, in the 2018 season, two burial mounds in the third group of the Shestovitsa archaeological complex were excavated. The burial of the man of 10th century and the inlet burial of 12th century in one of 10th century mounds, where the burial was absent or not preserved, were found here.


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